From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Sierra Leone News : CRC Engaged Media Editors of Newspapers
By Jeneba V.Kabba
Feb 13, 2015, 17:02

The Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) on Tuesday, 10th, February, 2015 concluded a day engagement meeting with various editors of newspapers at the Miata conference centre in Freetown.

 

In his statement, the Chairman of the CRC, Justice Edmond Cowan said this engagement is to educate and inform the media about their activities and also for the public to know what they are doing the country.


He stated “The constitutional review committee took off on a very sound footing in 2014 with a very big technical workshop where the roadmap for the development of the constitutional review process was formulated.”

 

He further noted that this was closely followed by an engagement with reporters on ethical, objective and conflict   sensitive reporting on constitutional review. 

 

He admitted that the CRC engaged Parliament in a mediation and conflict resolution session at the end of March 2014.

 

He said “With supports from development partners like United Nations Development Programme ( UNDP), European Union (EU) and DFID, a number of civic education and stakeholders consultative meetings were held with women, political parties, the youths, persons- living with disability, paramount chiefs, traditional and religious leaders, media practitioners, civil society organizations and others.

 

“For this we wanted to thank our development partners and hoped the partnerships continue” he stated.

 

He admitted that the CRC sub-committees did over one hundred (100) consultations with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and civil society organizations whilst simultaneously encouraging them to compile position papers outlining their wishes and aspirations for the revised constitution. He revealed that to this end, over 50 positions papers were received during the period under reviewed.

 

He admitted that with technical support from UNDP, the CRC has produced a number of working documents including the synchronization of the constitution of Sierra Leone Act No 6 of 1991 and the report of the commission to Review the 1991 Constitution (Peter Tucker’s Reports), print of over 50,000 public submission forms, abridged version s of the 1991 Constitution, promotional materials including stickers and wall bills and many more.

 

He also said “Number of CSOs and NGOs are being engaged in civic education and consultants in various parts of the country. He revealed that monthly newsletters were produced throughout the period, the website WWW.constitutionalreview.gov.sl is up and running and series of public information materials were produced.

 

He admitted that the last quarter of 2014 witnessed the holding of a number of expert engagements with CRC members.  He said the knowledge sharing sessions with experts from various fields was widely acclaimed by all it created avenues, where views were exchanged and knowledge shared. He said that he thank the UNDP Chief Technical Adviser (CTA) to the CRC, Chairmen of all sub-committees, CRC members and Secretariat staff, for their unflinching support to the process so far.

 

He admitted that the year 2015 is here and the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) sub- committee members are determined, more than ever before to traverse the length and breadth of Sierra Leone to gather the views and aspirations of citizens on the review process. He hoped that the CRC would embark on a nationwide stakeholders and public consultations as soon as the nation is declared Ebola free.

 

He admitted “On behalf of the CRC, I want to use this opportunity to thank His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma for the extension of the process to March 2016”.

 

He said that if the State of Public Emergency is lifted by the end of March 2015, the CRC will immediately embark on the nationwide stakeholders and public consultations. He admitted that   the interim report of the review process would hopefully be ready by the end of September 2015, whilst the final report would be submitted to the government in November, 2015.

The Managing Editor of Salone Times Newspaper, Mr. Donald Theo Harding in his presentation said the media houses are in support of the work that the committee is doing in the country. He said media houses have been educating the public about the activities of CRC and will continue the good work for the people of this country.



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